New Online Training Option

This information came around from licensing in early 2105. Some WCCP members have taken advantage of the free and low cost courses being offered online with positive feedback, so we are sharing information here again for those that might be interested in another training option.

An extensive catalog of online courses with new courses being added every month. Topics range from Childcare to Health & Nutrition. Most of the courses range from 1 to 2 hrs. Free for the taking with many having training certificate available for FREE or low cost. All information on hrs and cost is available in the course catalog.

You will need to set up a FREE account to access courses. It’s easy to set-up.

Quality for ME is part of MRTQ….. Right?

childcareThere continues to be confusion over the roles that both Quality for ME and Maine Roads to Quality have for child care providers. Then you add in Licensing and even more questions arise. As the Block Grant and new licensing rules are finalized I expect we will see more communication and coordination between MRTQ, Quality for ME and Licensing.

I was at an input session for Family Child Care with regards to changes in our state’s Quality Rating System (Quality for ME) that are upcoming and information that clearly delineated the roles for MRTQ and Quality for ME was shared with us. I thought it would be good to pass along to others providing child care.


What is it?

  • MRTQ: Career Development Network that promotes quality early care and education through training of providers and tracking professionalism through a career lattice. Person
  • Quality for ME: voluntary system for licensed providers to have the quality of their program assessed on a 4 step rating scale. Program

Why is it important?

  • MRTQ: Professional development is linked to quality of care provided. Quality training is provided. Career lattice works as your professional resume.
  • Quality for ME: Tool to help parents recognize and choose quality child care. Help programs to improve quality of care. Helps Maine measure how well state supports child care programs. Join national effort in raising quality of early care.

How can I get more information?

What is the connection?

  • MRTQ: Sends information to Quality for ME, which uses it as step level is figured out.
    • names of staff
    • professional level on career lattice
    • MRTQ training on Maine’s Early Learning Developmental Standards
    • accreditation status or Head Start compliance
  • Quality for ME: Once all program staff are registered on MRTQ, program can apply for Quality for ME.
    • based on submitted information in self-assessment application, program is assigned a step level
    • Step assignment is based on program’s unique characteristics. This system is not about telling providers what kind of program they have to run, but recognizing that there is a uniqueness in all programs while recognized standards of quality can still be met.
    • Programs may submit a change in step at any time. Each increase in step reflects increase in quality of program.

Quality for ME is also connected with the search site. The listings by town that pull up lists providers with those participating in Quality for ME first. That means families are seeing those first. There is also going to be more marketing done to raise awareness of the Quality for ME program and what is quality care.

I encourage any provider not registered with Maine Roads to Quality to do so. I also encourage any provider who has been thinking about becoming involved in the currently voluntary Quality for ME program to do so. We have members of WCCP at different levels on the Career lattice and steps for Quality of ME that are happy to help others with the group with questions and resources.

~~~ Deborah Arcaro


More Training Communities

We’ve gather some of the different communities that offer trainings for free to support our work in early education. Some of these communities have trainings that are a up for a limited time, others offer live with archived presentation following. All offer certificates accepted by Maine for licensing renewal training hours. Some will or current meet required trainings by licensing.

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 9.53.17 AMedWeb offers a new model for providing high value, interactive, and free professional development for educators – any time and anywhere in the world. edWeb integrates live webinars with online professional learning communities that provide educators with ongoing professional development support.

To join you set up a free account. Once your acct. is up you can access different webinars by joining individual communities Professional Learning Communities (PLC) set-up around areas of interest. That’s done with just a click on the join button. The PLC also offer a chance to networking, chat, share ideas and join smaller discussions.

Webinar trainings are both live and archived. Certificates are awarded within 24 hrs. of attending live trainings. For archived presentations, after watching the recording, you can take the corresponding CE quiz. The Webinar Archives folder store all of the recordings and quizzes. Once you submit your answers, you will receive a certificate.

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 9.55.26 AMEarly Childhood Investigations offers quality free webinars for early childhood educators. They are produced by Fran S. Simon, M.Ed., Chief Engagement Officer of Engagement Strategies, LLC.  The webinars are presented by known experts in the field of early care and education. Topics explore new ideas offering insights to early childhood professionals.

You can register for individual webinars directly from their site or by getting on their email list. If you miss a live webinar you will get a direct link emailed you if registered from which you can watch the archive. You earn certificates for whichever way you watch.

You can also now go into the archives and watch past webinars, earning certificates even if not previously registered to watch live.

Being able to attend live allows you to also be engaged in the side chatroom discussions around questions raised during the presentation.

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 10.05.10 AMAAP also requires you to set up an account. It’s free and allows you to track trainings signed up for and earned. This organization will developing trainings that are expected to meet new Health & Safety training requirements coming down as part of the CCDF Block Grant.

Their current trainings often have a time limit of availability. I have also found that it seems to take a few clicks to get the certificate than for sites that are just about trainings. It is not the easiest site to navigate when first visited I thought. Now I know to go to Online Courses in the dropdown menu under Professional Education. Once there available courses are easier to access. In the left sidebar – Browse by Topic –  scroll down almost to the end where you’ll see Child Care. Click and you get to the free trainings.

Preventing and Managing Infectious Diseases in Early Education and Child Care  is available through 4/2/16

Medication Administration in Early Education and Child Care  available through 4/15/16  — There will be a required training around administration of medication.


Developmental Screening Webinar and Resources

The national initiative, Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive, has a  free Early Care and Education Provider’s Guide  about our role as early educators in developmental and behavioral screening. If your program does or plans to start conducting screenings, use the  free Developmental Screening Passport to help parents track and share their child’s screening history and results.

The CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. program also has  free resources to help with developmental monitoring and screening.

Revision of Quality for ME is Completing

For those that are interested in the Quality for ME program this is a copy of a letter that was emailed to providers early. WCCP will have representation at this final review occurring mid-March. If you have any questions around the recommendations sent to OCFS (see link below), please contact WCCP by email before 3/10, so these may be carried forward by our representative.


Quality for ME Revision

As many of you know, over the past year Maine’s Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) sought feedback from parents and child care providers about how to improve Quality for ME, Maine’s four-step voluntary quality rating system also known as QRIS. Quality for ME is designed to recognize early care and education programs that provide quality care; encourage providers to increase their level of quality; and provide parents with identifiable standards of quality.

How We Gathered Feedback

The University of Maine and the Muskie School of Public Service collaborated to help OCFS engage stakeholders in reviewing the currentQuality for ME standards and offering recommendations for improvement. Feedback was provided through focus groups that were held around the state with randomly-chosen child care practitioners – those involved in Quality for ME and those who weren’t – and parents to better understand the benefits and challenges of Quality for ME. Parents and practitioners also offered their feedback about how to improve the system through online surveys. Work groups made up of practitioners and stakeholder staff consulted best practices from other states, studied the results of Maine’s focus groups, and put forward recommended changes. Finally, an Advisory Committee made up of practitioners, parents, and stakeholder agency staff met several times to review and finalize all recommendations.

All the recommendations for improvement were summarized and sent to OCFS in a report which is available here OCFS is now reviewing that report and the implications for implementing the proposed changes. Over the next few months small groups of early childhood practitioners will provide their input about how best to implement the recommended changes, as well as the supports and technical assistance that need to be in place to ensure a successful launch of a renewed quality rating and improvement system.

Next Steps

We will keep you informed of our plans for implementation of a revised quality rating and improvement system as they develop. It is our hope that implementation can begin over the coming year. It is our intention to implement changes in a thoughtful, planned way that will result in a quality rating and improvement system that works better for all parents and practitioners around the state.

Thank you,

Elissa Wynne, MSW
Child Care Services Team Leader
Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Child and Family Services
2 Anthony Avenue, 11 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0011

Training Opportunities

Here are some more training opportunities available……


2015 Fall MAEYC Conference: Meeting Standards Through Play
Saturday, October 3rd, 9:00AM-3:00PM at Bowdoin College, Brunswick

New Standards!!?? Whatever happened to play??!!

Please join us as Sue Reed, Maine Department of Education Early Childhood Consultant, introduces us to the new Maine Early Learning Development Standards and Martha Eshoo, Ed.M, Instructor of Human Development, Arts and Sciences, Wheelock College, examines the importance of play in learning (and meeting standards!)

Network, share your play policies, and tour the Bowdoin College Children’s Center during lunch. After lunch join colleagues to explore play, learning, and standards in two of the following domains: Literacy, science and math, physical and health, creative arts, social and emotional, and disabilities.

Register Here!


Maine Roads to Quality is excited to present Symposium 2015: Full STEAM Ahead! This year’s symposium will focus on the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math in early childhood and school age settings, including family child care, child care centers, Head Start, public preschool, before and after schools programs, and infant and toddler caregivers.

We hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 24, 2015, 9:00 – 3:00

Augusta Civic Center
76 Community Drive, Augusta

Register Here!


Sharing Nature and Play Everyday

Workshop for Educators and Caregivers of Children Ages 2 to 6 years old

It can be challenging to incorporate nature and play into your everyday routine and accomplish all your other goals. This workshop will provide ideas and strategies to support academic goals and social-emotional learning using nature education and play. We will address challenges and obstacles to incorporating nature and play into the daily routine, as well as provide ample resources, activities and concepts to help guide you as you begin to see the positive effects daily doses of play and nature have on the children.

All who engage with children between 2 and 6 years old will find the activities and concepts covered in this workshop very accessible and ready to be implemented the next day!

Whether you are in a rural or urban environment, access to nature is always possible. Opportunities for play can be easily woven into your day. Play and the natural world are two wonderful means of nurturing children’s imagination, problem solving skills and sense of self. A trusting, safe community is an essential ingredient in this learning.

This will be a hands-on, active and playful workshop.

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 – Thursday, Oct 1, 2015
6:00pm – 8:00pm

Register Here!

Maine Child Care Association Membership

As President of WCCP, I am writing this post to inform all members of an action taken by the Board and to personally encourage our members to add their voice, as I have, through individual memberships in MCCA. Having the individual provider’s memberships sends the strongest voice that we want to be engaged. If you have questions please feel free to contact me at 839-3276.
imgresThere has been a lot happening around a bill on notification of families around child neglect/abuse complaints in child care settings. There has been concern about confidentiality and due process in the bills. A small group of child care providers managed to organize and provide testimony on the first bill which was defeated. The second bill was pushed through in 48 hrs, not allowing time to be physically present. That bill has passed through committee. At this time there is the chance to get some amendments added.
These engaged providers feeling strongly that this is just the tip of the iceberg with respect to bills and rules to come that will affect how we operate and run our child care businesses, contacted the IRS and state in regards to reactivating the Maine Family Child Care Association. They reactivated with a new name Maine Child Care Association ~ Advocating for the people who care for children, knowing child care across the state will be better served if we can come together under one organization that focuses on advocacy,
The thought is while a group can never ensure the outcome of any legislative effort, to sit back and be quiet about what we believe will harm our businesses is not a message we should continue to send the Legislature or DHHS.  By building MCCA’s membership now from the approximately 1900 licensed child care businesses in Maine we can put an organized effort forward to ensure our issues, concerns, and interests are no longer ignored and provide long-term advocacy services to all providers in our industry.  Maine Child Care Association will be growing their ability to advocate, provide resources, network and trainings as the group continues forward.
Through involvement from various members, WCCP has tried to keep our members abreast of many of the efforts around these 2 bills and now the official organization of Maine Child Care Association. There is a quick push now around raising membership in order to retain the services of Drummond Woodsum, who MCCA believes will enable the organization to proceed in its efforts to amend LD 1432, as well as develop a plan for effectively engaging in the rulemaking undertaken by the Department later this year.
The Board of WCCP has voted in favor of joining MCCA as an Association supporting the need for advocacy. Joining as an Association allows our members to join as individuals for a reduced rate of $40, rather than $75.
Please consider joining the Maine Child Care Association today.  After June 12th there is not much time left to correct the errors in LD 1432.
An enrollment form for MCCA was included in a previous group email, but the easiest way is to call June Holman, President at (207) 321-1634 and she will take information and payment over the phone.
Maine Child Care Association ~ Advocating for the people who care for children.
President June Holman  (207) 321-1634
Secretary Lori Bozeman (207) 837-9404
Treasurer Sasha Shunk (207) 415-7505

Looking Ahead to 2015/16

cropped-2011-09-02_1103.jpgOur June meeting provided the group with direction for trainings for 2015/16. Areas of interest that our 9 trainings will be pulled from include:

  • Our rights and actions when dealing with child neglect and abuse cases that impact our program.
  • Yearly visit with licensing workers
  • Emergency Preparedness Planning  *already scheduled with Margaret Cushing for our first meeting in Sept.
  • Tax prep – questions about what we can and cannot claim and processes for record keeping * Lisa Seiferth has agreed to led a discussion around these questions and others in Feb. Just in time for those pulling together for 2015 or those finally getting organized for 2016.
  • Process, Not Product
  • Assessment/Observation
  • Make and Take Activities: one month on STEAM, one month Literacy – The goal is to have 4 activities set up where everything will be pulled together for a complete activity to be used across a range of ages that each member present will make and take home.
  • K Readiness – This seems to keep changing and by being updated we can provide support for families and continue to prepare the children in our care.
  • Professionalism of Child Care – discussion of organizations at state and national level that support the quality of our programs, provide direct services to us, and support the professional image we all work to present to clients.
  • Gardening

With our new Social Media Director position we are looking to consolidate our opportunities to share in timely and convenient formats that meet the needs of members information about meeting, outside resources, training opportunities, and a private members only online community network.

The members present also have put forward to have the Board adjust the annual membership to $20. This increase will provide funds for trainings. Our annual membership fee covers up to 18 hours of training for 2015/16.

WCCP welcomes anyone that works with children and wishes to find support through involvement with a wider community of childcare professionals to join us at any point during our year.



Destructive Play…. Important?

Having infants in a mixed ages program and continually having to navigate the destruction vs the feelings and efforts of the others involved in the building this title: The Importance of Destructive Play for Babies and Toddlers caught my eye right off.

The article details 5 specific activities that most of us with babies and toddlers in care probably see on a regular basis. What I like was the learning value assigned to each activity. For me it reinforced the value of the natural play. I also could connect directly to the Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers.


I also realized that I do not document this type of play much, yet I should be because it is very developmentally appropriate. The dumping of the lego tub was the closest I could find. No built items were destroyed, but some of the preschoolers were not happy to have them all dumped.


Spring Forums by State Child Care Licensing